Originally built as the Linden Hotel in 1928, it was renamed the Hotel Mark Twain during the Great Depression. The name changed again with another owner but soon returned back to the Hotel Mark Twain. The name was inspired by the iconic writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. In 1864 Mark Twain went to San Francisco where worked for several newspapers. His wit and satire earned him praise from both critics and peers. It is rumored that one of his witticisms inspired the quote “the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” While that quote is not confirmed, Mark Twain did have this to say about San Francisco: “I fell in love with the most cordial and sociable city in the Union” and “I have always been rather better treated in San Francisco than I actually deserved.”
In the late 40’s the hotel was made infamous with the arrest of the great blues singer Billie Holiday in room #203. Federal narcotics agents found her in possession of opium and a pipe. The case went to trial and she was acquitted, however, earning the Tilden Hotel (Hotel Mark Twain at the time) a listing in the “Top Ten Famous Hotel Rooms”.
In 2017, the 1928-built Mark Twain Hotel completed a top-to-bottom transformation and was reborn as the Tilden Hotel. The Tilden Hotel was named after Douglas Tilden, the sculptor who created the Ball Player in Golden Gate Park, Admission Day, Mechanic’s Monument, and many more. The hotel embraces that artistic spirit and helps local artists with the Tilden Tuesday event series.
The Tilden Hotel today is a boutique hotel in the heart of San Francisco, it is in walking distance to a variety of restaurants, theaters, shops at Union Square, cable cars on Powell and the Moscone Convention Center—an ideal location for the business or leisure traveler.
Did you know, the cartoon star Mickey Mouse also started in 1928? Mickey Mouse first appeared on November 18th, 1928 in Steamboat Willie, an animated 1928 short film produced by Walt Disney. This beloved character is still popular today and during your stay at Tilden Hotel, you can visit the nearby Walt Disney Family Museum. Located in the Presidio in a former barracks building at the Army-post-turned-national-park, the 40,000-square-foot museum houses interactive galleries, education classrooms, a Fantasia-themed theater, plus a shop and café.
Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery Street in the Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
Museum hours are 10am–6pm. Last entry 4:45pm.